CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

In late July, two police officers in Abingdon helped two children into the back of a cruiser.The kids, 11 and 14 years old, hadn’t committed any crimes, and they weren’t on their way to the police station or to a juvenile detention center. They were going to mental health...
Virginia juvenile justice officials say the state hasn't strapped a child in their custody to a chair since 2015."We don't feel it's necessary to use things like that," Andrew Block, the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, told members of the Board of Juvenile Justice at a meeting...
Ever since I was a small boy I have always admired police officers.Due to the senseless civil war that plagued my country for more than a decade, my family was victimized by a home invasion by the rebels who invaded the capital city of Sierra Leone. They entered our...
A knock on the locked church doors prompts an unexpected line of interrogation from a congregation member inside: '"Who are you? Why are you here?"It’s hard to hear through the heavy glass and the tone is surprisingly tense for a sunny afternoon on a quiet street outside a house...
Attorney General Mark Herring said in an opinion Tuesday that a plan approved last month by the Lee County School Board to arm teachers is unlawful."For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity," Herring said in a statement.In...
Twenty-one attorneys general, including Virginia’s Mark Herring, won a preliminary injunction Monday against a company that wanted to distribute plans to print plastic guns from 3-D printers online.“The Trump administration's reckless plan to make 3D-printed guns widely available and easily accessible was one of the most dangerous ideas I...
A watchdog group with federal investigative authority says it is continuing to probe allegations of abuse made by immigrant teens held in a juvenile jail outside of Staunton. A report released Monday by state officials failed to substantiate the claims.“Based on what we know so far, we believe further...
The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice determined there is no evidence of abuse or neglect at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Augusta County, according to a report released Monday.Gov. Ralph Northam asked the state to look into the allegations in June after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed...
Downtown Charlottesville felt like the green zone of a war-torn city Saturday. More than a thousand local and state police officers barricaded 10 blocks of the city's popular pedestrian district, the Downtown Mall, to prepare for the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally last year that left dozens...
Most Virginians are willing to let law enforcement restrict weapons at public events to better ensure safety, according to a new survey by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.Seventy-five percent of adults favor letting authorities remove objects from events if they could be used as...